South Tyrol

Curated by

Literatur Lana
Neues Institut für Dramatisches Schreiben

Utopia Europa

If in days and times like this, circumstances take over and developments rapidly change, to such an extent that they cannot be fully grasped, it becomes hard to speak. It is also tough, when sadness and fear don’t leave day to day life and come to rule our world. And it indeed gets even more difficult, when opinions trigger speedy debates and discussions, as if they would get paid for them.

Still, conversing can maybe be possible, as soon as it’s on the lookout for an open dialogue that creates questions out of the very process of thinking and anchors them within society itself. It is maybe in a type of ‘cultural acting’, which investigates the world and its political dimensions, where the urgency of speaking lies? And maybe in it also lies an act of public responsibility?

The project “Utopia Europe”, an initiative by Literatur Lana, Lungomare and NIDS, developed as a reflective contribution to the questions and regulations that arise through the process of migration within Europe. The project did not want to impose a demand for reprehension, instruction nor conversion. It rather wanted to formulate and tackle the insecurities and experiences of a continent in profound change. Without promising a solution, it had a civil society of mutual respect and humanity in mind, through the prospect of an open ‘becoming’.

We heavily rely on the concept of ‘utopia’, which has represented a framework of thought in European history as well as cultural history from Antiquity onwards. If ‘utopia’ on one hand is the ‘topos’ of a non-contextualized localization, it is thus a constant possibility of ‘being-different’ and ‘seeing-different’; on the other hand, if a ‘utopia’ drafts the vision of a better society and therefore has the formulation of the future in its spotlight, that is when utopias proclaim, in one way or the other, a ‘goodbye’ of existing orders. But what happens when utopias get disbanded, as what seems to be happening at the moment to the idea Europe. What is the alternative draft? To whom and to which world views do we hand the idea of a better society? Maybe there is a chance to play one’s way through these or similar questions. If experimented with, by the means of conversation and narration, they just might be able to present us with conceivable and liveable options to our complex present.

A poster campaign has followed the topic ‘utopia’, where each of the three institutions pursued the topic through different actions and events. The posters tackled the terms which are key to our presence and the terms started to blur under the weight of their meaning.

At certain times, these words have the ability of naming an experience, and sometimes they move away from ’the experienced’ in a way that they belong to and lose the capacity of dealing with it at the same time. At other times, the words are followed by a particular type of thinking, which infiltrates into the present and appears, all of a sudden, as a narrative. What is it that terms and notions do with us and the society we live in? And what are they telling us, when they come to speak in a multiplicity of voices and languages?


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